Browsing by Subject "alcohol"

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  • Herkkola, Hennariia (Helsingfors universitet, 2018)
    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is located in the ventral striatum and plays a critical role in drug addiction. NAc receives dopaminergic projections from ventral tegmental area (VTA) which is activated after administration of various abused drugs. Activation of VTA increases the release of dopamine in NAc. Increased dopamine levels induce the release of acetylcholine from striatal cholinergic interneurons. These cholinergic interneurons have been related to the development of addiction and other emotion-related disorders such as depression. Previous studies have shown that a lesion of cholinergic interneurons led to an increase in morphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. Moreover, an activation of cholinergic interneurons by designer receptors (DREADD) has reduced food consumption motivated by food restriction. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether accumbal cholinergic interneurons mediate alcohol- and morphine-induced conditioned place preference and locomotor activity. The activation of cholinergic interneurons was controlled using DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) technology. DREADDs are G protein-coupled receptors. Cellular function and activation can be modulated by these receptors. DREADDs are activated by an otherwise inert synthetic ligand, clozapine-N-oxide (CNO). Fluorescent protein, mCherry, is attached to DREADDs so that the expression of receptors in brain tissue can be observed. Cre-spesific adeno-associated viruses (AAV) with DREADD gene were injected bilaterally to the nucleus accumbens of ChATcre mice in stereotactic surgery. The effects of alcohol and morphine were tested with conditioned place preference procedure. Mice were divided to three groups after DREADDs: activating receptor Gq (n = 10), inhibiting receptor Gi (n = 9) and control mC (n = 9). There were both male and female mice in every group. Alcohol did not induce conditioned place preference in any group. The locomotor activity of mice significantly increased after alcohol injection compared to saline injection. However, cholinergic interneurons had no effect on the increased locomotor activity. Morphine-induced conditioned place preference was expressed in every group but there were no significant differences between DREADDs and control group when the first 15 minutes and the whole 30 minutes of the place preference test was analysed. Though, Gq-receptor seemed to decrease the place preference compared to control group when the place preference test was observed in five minute intervals. Morphine also significantly increased the locomotor activity of mice, but there were no differences between the groups. Sex had no influence on the place preference, but female mice were more active than male mice during the alcohol conditioning and the alcohol place preference test. The locomotor activity of female mice also increased more than the activity of male mice after morphine injection. The effect of accumbal cholinergic interneurons on alcohol-induced conditioned place preference remained unclear. Activation of cholinergic interneurons suppressed morphine-induced conditioned place preference compared to control group but not enough so that the effect could be seen during the whole place preference test. The mice were same in the morphine test as in the alcohol test so the mice were conditioned to alcohol before morphine and therefore the results of morphine-induced conditioned place preference are not reliable.
  • Vehma, Santeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Nucleus accumbens, located in ventral striatum, is an important part of the brain reward system. Accumbens integrates information coming from various brain areas, and it’s important for feeling pleasure, reward learning and reward seeking, including drugs of abuse. Cholinergic interneurons represent a few percent of accumbal cells. Earlier research suggests that accumbal cholinergic activity decreases drug seeking and eating. The aim of this study was to examine the role of cholinergic interneuron activity in alcohol drinking and alcohol related locomotor activity. Cholinergic interneurons (ChI) were manipulated using DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs), which can be selectively activated with clozapine-n-oxide (CNO). To express DREADDs selectively in ChIs, a cre-dependent viral vector that contained a gene coding for a cell-activating hM3D(Gq)-mCherry (n=9), cell-inhibiting hM4D(Gi)-mCherry (n=9), or control mCherry(n=8), was injected to nucleus accumbens of ChAT-cre- mice. Alcohol drinking was measured using Drinking In the Dark (DID)- model. Three hours after lights-out, the water bottles were replaced with 20% alcohol for two hours, for three days. On the fourth day, mice were injected with CNO or vehicle and alcohol was given for four hours. These cycles were repeated six times. In the locomotor assay, mice were injected with CNO or vehicle, followed by injection of alcohol or saline. Locomotor activity of the mice was observed for 30 minutes. In the DID- assay, the DREADD ligand CNO did not have effects on alcohol drinking within any of the three groups. However, Gi- mice drank more alcohol than Gq-mice even without the presence of CNO. These results are not reliable enough to draw conclusions, as they were confounded by unusually low drinking volumes. In the locomotor assay, CNO alone did not affect locomotion in any group. Together with alcohol, however, CNO decreased locomotion in all three groups, compared to alcohol alone. This is consistent with recent reports suggesting that CNO may have nonspecific behavioral effects.
  • Virtanen, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    There has been a steady increase in alcohol consumption in Finland since the 1969 law reform, which allowed convenience stores to sell mild alcoholic beverages such as beer. Since then, the yearly consumption has increased from 3.6 liters in 1968 to 10.8 liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2016. Increasing levels of alcohol use tend to produce high economic and population health costs. Understanding why changes in alcohol consumption behavior occur enables development of more efficient prevention and intervention programs. Alcohol consumption is not distributed equally across the population. Liberalization of Finnish alcohol policy and culture from the 1960s onwards made alcohol more available than ever before, and especially the post-war cohorts started to use significantly more alcohol than the generations before them. Evidently, there are between-individual differences in alcohol use in addition to group level differences. According to decades of research, approximately 50% of the variation between individuals in alcohol consumption can be explained by genetic sources. In other words, the heritability of alcohol use is 50%, while non-genetic factors explain the other half. However, heritability is not a static estimate, but can be modified by social forces. While it has been established that the younger generations consume significantly more alcohol than generations preceding them, only a few studies to date have examined whether the importance of genetic influences on alcohol consumption is dependent on birth cohort or generation. The current study examined, if social control during a specific time in history (e.g. how strict is alcohol policy and the cultural climate while a generation is growing up) can affect the heritability of alcohol use in later life. Mean level differences in alcohol consumption quantity and abstinence trajectories of birth cohorts were also estimated. The older Finnish twin cohort data consists of all Finnish same-sex twin pairs born before 1958 with both co-twins alive in 1975 (n = 24 481). The data were collected in four waves in 1975, 1981, 1990, and 2011. Age of the participants at study baseline in 1975 ranged from 18 to 95. Participants were grouped into seven 10-year cohorts based on their birth year. Mean trajectories of alcohol consumption quantity and abstinence over the life course were estimated for men and women separately with hierarchical growth curve models. Cohort effects and age-by-cohort interactions were also investigated. The heritability of alcohol consumption and abstinence was estimated using structural equation modelling. Birth cohort effects on heritability of alcohol use were examined by comparing heritability estimates of different cohorts at similar ages. Mean levels of alcohol consumption quantity were the highest in the youngest birth cohorts. Women drank less than men in all cohorts. The decline in the quantity of monthly alcohol use due to aging was relatively small, and appeared to be more prominent in the older birth cohorts. The odds of abstaining became lower in every successive birth cohort. Moreover, women were more likely to be abstinent than men. The aging effect of increasing abstinence was notable only in the oldest birth cohorts. Birth cohort differences in the heritability of alcohol consumption quantity were found: heritability was 25% (CI 12–38%) in the older generation (born 1901–1920) and 48% (CI 39–50%) in the younger generation (born 1941–1957) of men at the age of 54–74. For women, heritability was 60% in the older and younger generation. In alcohol abstinence, a single model was run for men and women. The shared environmental component explained a large proportion of the variation in the older generation (43%), whereas unique environment (54%) and additive genetic influences (40%) were more important among the younger generation. The findings from the present study suggest that social control during a specific time in history may have a long-term impact on alcohol consumption behavior (i.e. how and why alcohol is used) of an entire generation growing up during that period.
  • Honkalampi, Kirsi; Jokela, Markus; Lehto, Soili M.; Kivimäki, Mika; Virtanen, Marianna (2022)
    Alexithymia has been associated with substance use, but the magnitude of the association has not been evaluated and sub-group differences, if any, are unknown. The aim of this meta-analysis is to systematically review the association between alexithymia and substance use (alcohol or illicit drugs). We identified studies through a systematic review of PubMed and Web of Science and obtained a total of 52 publications using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 scale. Random effects meta-analysis was used to evaluate the overall and sub-group associations. Of the studies, 50 were cross-sectional and two longitudinal. Alexithymia was associated with any substance use (Cohen's d = 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.49-0.76), with little difference between estimates for use of alcohol or illicit drugs. A stronger association was observed for the alexithymia dimension "Difficulty in Identifying Feelings" (d = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.47-0.81) and "Difficulty in Describing Feelings" (d = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.32-0.55) than for "Externally Oriented Thinking" (d = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.09-0.28). The association was stronger in studies with clinical patient populations (d = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.62-1.05) than in those investigating general or student populations, and in studies with a majority of male rather than female participants. These findings suggest a strong overall association between alexithymia and substance use and a very strong association among clinical patient populations. The association may be stronger with the emotion-related dimensions than with the cognition-related dimension of alexithymia. As nearly all the studies were cross-sectional, more longitudinal studies are needed.
  • Khemiri, Lotfi; Larsson, Henrik; Kuja-Halkola, Ralf; D'Onofrio, Brian M.; Lichtenstein, Paul; Jayaram-Lindstrom, Nitya; Latvala, Antti (2020)
    Aims To assess whether parental substance use disorder (SUD) is associated with lower cognitive ability in offspring, and whether the association is independent of shared genetic factors. Design A population family-based cohort study utilizing national Swedish registries. Linear regression with increased adjustment of covariates was performed in the full population. In addition, the mechanism of the association was investigated with children-of-sibling analyses using fixed-effects regression with three types of sibling parents with increasing genetic relatedness (half-siblings, full siblings and monozygotic twins). Setting and participants A total of 3 004 401 people born in Sweden between 1951 and 1998. Measurements The exposure variable was parental SUD, operationalized as having a parent with life-time SUD diagnosis or substance-related criminal conviction in the National Patient Register or Crime Register, respectively. Outcomes were cognitive test score at military conscription and final school grades when graduating from compulsory school. Covariates included in the analyses were sex, birth year, parental education, parental migration status and parental psychiatric comorbid diagnoses. Findings In the full population, parental SUD was associated with decreased cognitive test stanine scores at conscription [4.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.55-4.57] and lower Z-standardized school grades (-0.43, 95% CI = -0.43 to -0.42) compared to people with no parental SUD (cognitive test: 5.17, 95% CI = 5.17-5.18; grades: 0.09, 95% CI = 0.08-0.09). There was evidence of a dose-response relationship, in that having two parents with SUD (cognitive test: 4.17, 95% CI = 4.15-4.20; grades: -0.83, 95% CI = -0.84 to -0.82) was associated with even lower cognitive ability than having one parent with SUD (cognitive test: 4.60, 95% CI = 4.59-4.60; grades: -0.38, 95% CI = -0.39 to -0.380). In the children-of-siblings analyses when accounting for genetic relatedness, these negative associations were attenuated, suggestive of shared underlying genetic factors. Conclusions There appear to be shared genetic factors between parental substance use disorder (SUD) and offspring cognitive function, suggesting that cognitive deficits may constitute a genetically transmitted risk factor in SUD.
  • Tapola, Lauri (Helsingfors universitet, 2008)
    The temperamental traits of Cloninger's personality theory (novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence and persistence) reflect independent systems of central nervous system deciding responses toward new, rewarding and aversive stimuli. Thus, certain temperamental traits and their combinations may predispose to heavy drinking and alcohol dependence. Hence, the aim of the present study was to investigate associations between temperamental traits and the amount of alcohol consumption, frequency of heavy drinking and the maximum number of drinks per occasion. In this study, we investigated also whether these associations are only confounded by between-family differences in genetic and environmental factors. Furthermore the associations between temperamental trait combinations that reflect Cloninger's typology of alcoholism and alcohol use were studied. The subjects (n=401) in the current study were a group of FinnTwin16 study participators, Finnish twins born in 1974-79. Temperament was measured with TCI-R (Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised) a self-report form. The amount of alcohol consumption was asked by Semi-structured interview (Semi-Structured Assessment of Genetics of Alcoholism = SSAGA). The frequency of heavy drinking and maximum number of drinks per occasion were asked by mail form. In accordance with previous studies, novelty seeking had a positive relationship with the amount of alcohol consumption, frequency of heavy drinking and the maximum number of drinks per occasion in both genders. In this study, the association was proven independent of between-family differences in genetic and environmental factors that are associated to both novelty seeking and alcohol use. Surprisingly, reward dependence was negatively related to the maximum number of drinks per occasion in both genders. Persistence had a weak positive relationship with maximum number of drinks per occasion in men. The temperamental trait combinations that reflect Cloninger's typology of alcoholism did not differ from the other combinations in regard to alcohol use as hypothesized. The results confirm the previous finding about the relationship between novelty seeking and alcohol use. Support for Cloninger's typology of alcoholism in regard to combinations of temperamental trait was not achieved in this study.
  • Koponen, Anne M.; Nissinen, Niina-Maria; Gissler, Mika; Sarkola, Taisto; Autti-Rämö, Ilona; Kahila, Hanna (2020)
    Purpose:The need for longitudinal studies on prenatal substance exposure (PSE) extending into adulthood is widely recognised. In particular, studies on the dual effect of exposure to substances and adverse childhood experiences are needed. This register-based matched cohort study investigates the effect of this dual exposure on the health and development of youth with PSE. The follow-up is from birth to young adulthood.Participants:The exposed youth were born in 1992?2001 to mothers with a significant substance misuse problem during pregnancy. The mothers were identified in primary care maternity clinics in the Helsinki metropolitan area and referred for intensified pregnancy follow-up in a tertiary care setting (HAL-clinics). Data from hospital medical records were collected for the mothers during the pregnancy follow-up and linked with register data from multiple national health and social welfare registers obtained for each mother?child dyad from birth until the end of 2015?2018. Similar register data were gathered for three matched mother?child dyads without any evidence of the mother?s substance misuse in national health and social welfare registers. The study consists of 615 exposed and 1787 unexposed youth aged 15?24 years.Findings to date:A majority of the exposed youth (64%) had been in out-of-home care at least once compared with 8% among the unexposed. Outpatient and inpatient hospital care due to mental or behavioural disorders were two to three times more common among the exposed than among the unexposed. The exposed had less often completed secondary school education and had more often needed social assistance.Future plans:The data comprise a wide range of information on infant health, youth?s mental and somatic health and development, out-of-home care history, and mother?s life situation at the delivery and later health. Risk and protective factors for different long-term developmental outcomes in adolescence or in young adulthood will be studied.
  • Sulkunen, Pekka (2017)
  • Lindeman, Mikaela; Katainen, Anu Hannele; Svensson, Johan; Kauppila, Emmi Katariina; Hellman, Carin Matilda Emelie (2019)
    Introduction and Aims This study has, for the first time, mapped the extent to which alcoholic beverage brands operating on the Swedish market follow national advertising regulations and industry self‐regulating codes in their postings on social media. Design and Methods All social media content posted on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by 52 brands operating in the Swedish market was gathered from three sample months in 2014, 2016 and 2017. A content analysis was performed. Results An audit of the 1204 posts shows that the brands’ social media content conforms rather well with the industry's own self‐regulation codes. However, the studied beverage brands had alarmingly inadequate age‐gates to social media accounts. Advertisements for alcoholic beverages must be clearly distinguishable from advertisements for non‐alcoholic beverages, according to the Swedish Alcohol Act criteria. These criteria are fulfilled to a varying degree among the posts in the analysed data. Advertisements for non‐alcoholic beverages give companies a greater leeway in terms of shape and content of the post through logotypes, settings and connotations. However, advertisements of non‐alcoholic beverages continue to convey the brand connotations and image to consumers. Discussion and Conclusions Regulating alcohol advertising in online milieus can be very difficult because of the complex mixture between quickly evolving techniques and the diverse nature of communication messages targeting consumers. Many countries, including Sweden, are now focusing on how to enforce effective policies. This short report strives to shed some light on the scope and content of commercial messages on Swedish social media platforms.
  • Bujalski, Michał; Hellman, Matilda; Moskalewicz, Jacek; Beccaria, Franca; Rolando, Sara (2018)
    Aims: The article presents an analysis of sources of information employed in mainstream print media reporting on addiction problems in Finland, Italy and Poland in the 1990s and 2000s. Method: A quantitative content analysis of frequency of different sources employed in articles in daily newspapers from Finland (N = 258), Italy (N = 296), and Poland (N = 212) from the years 1991, 1998 and 2011. Semantic units were coded in Atlas.ti. The societal spheres represented were identified using a common coding scheme broadly inspired by Boltanski and Thevenot's typology of polities of worth. Transformations were identified in line with van Leeuwen's framework for trends in discourse salience over time. Results: The study highlights different patterns of coverage of addictions in the three countries. Over time, increased salience is given to the individuals affected by addictions and experts who represent biomedical sciences. This process occurred with varying intensity and expressiveness in all countries under study. Conclusions: Social and political sources were employed to less extent over time. The media focus seemed to shift to the affected individuals and scientific expertise. This confirms results from previous studies on a general move towards individualisation and an increased focus on more personal and technical aspects of addiction problems in the mass media.
  • Edgren, Robert (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Objectives: This thesis examined the relationship between disordered gambling (DG) with mental health, loneliness, perceived general health, risky alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and computer gaming frequency by age and gender among adolescents and emerging adults. Gambling types were also examined for their association to DG, mental health, loneliness, perceived health, risky alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking. DG is conceptualized as a behavioural addiction, and its development is influenced by the availability of gambling opportunities, prevalence of other addictive behaviours, and psychological well-being. Previous studies have indicated that specific types of gambling are more strongly associated to DG that others. The purpose of the present study was to identify the strength of the various risk factors of disordered gambling, examine whether specific risk factors are associated to certain gambling types and if there are age and gender related differences in regards to the associations between disordered gambling and its risk factors. Methods: A cross-sectional population based random sample (n = 822, 49.3 % female) of individuals aged 15 to 28 from the self-reported Finnish Gambling Survey 2011 was utilized. DG was assessed with the Problem Gambling Severity Index, such that a score of 2 or more indicated DG. Mental health was measured with the five item Mental Health Inventory and risky alcohol consumption was assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test -Consumption. The remainder of examined variables were assessed with single Likert-scaled items. The correlates of DG and gambling types were examined with logistic regression models. Results and conclusions: Male gender, risky alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and frequently feeling lonely were significantly associated to DG. Slot machine gambling, online gambling other than poker, private betting, and casino betting were strongly associated to DG. The aforementioned gambling types were strongly associated to risky alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking along with sports betting. Feeling lonely was associated to online poker, casino betting and private betting. There were indications of gender differences in regards to the gambling types associated to feeling lonely. Risky alcohol consumption seemed to be a stronger risk factor for DG among males, and tobacco smoking stronger among females. Current findings warrant further investigation of DG in regards to loneliness, and reconsideration of national gambling policies.
  • Pajunen, T.; Vuori, E.; Lunetta, P. (2018)
    Background: Post-mortem (PM) ethanol production may hamper the interpretation of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in victims of drowning. Different exclusion criteria (e.g. cases with low BAC or with protracted interval between death and toxicological analysis) have been proposed with no factual figures to reduce the potential bias due to PM ethanol production when examining the prevalence rates for alcohol-related drowning. The aim of this study is to verify the extent to which PM alcohol production may affect the accuracy of studies on drowning and alcohol. Findings: Unintentional fatal drowning cases (n = 967) for which a full medico-legal autopsy and toxicological analysis was performed, in Finland, from 2000 to 2013, and relevant variables (demographic data of the victims, month of incident, PM submersion time, blood alcohol concentration, urine alcohol concentration (UAC), vitreous humour alcohol concentration (VAC) were available. Overall, out of 967 unintentional drownings, 623 (64.4%) were positive for alcohol (BAC > 0 mg/dL), 595 (61.5%) had a BAC ≥ 50 mg/dL, and 567 (58.6%) a BAC ≥ 100 mg/dL. Simultaneous measurements, in each victim, of BAC, UAC, and VAC revealed PM ethanol production in only 4 victims (BAC: 25 mg/dL – 48 mg/dL). These false positive cases represented 0.4% of drownings with BAC > 0 mg/dL and 14.3% of drownings with BAC > 0 mg/dL and <50 mg/dL. Conclusions: The present study suggests that PM ethanol production has a limited impact on research addressing the prevalence rate for alcohol-related drowning and that the use of too rigorous exclusion criteria, such as those previously recommended, may led to a significant underestimation of actual alcohol-positive drowning cases. © 2018, The Author(s).
  • Junna, Liina M.; Tarkiainen, Lasse; Östergren, Olof; Jasilionis, Domantas; Martikainen, Pekka (2021)
    Aims: Tobacco smoking and alcohol use contribute to differences in life expectancy between individuals with primary, secondary and tertiary education. Less is known about the contribution of these risk factors to differences at higher levels of education. We estimate the contribution of smoking and alcohol use to the life-expectancy differences between the doctorates and the other tertiary-educated groups in Finland and in Sweden. Methods: We used total population data from Finland and Sweden from 2011 to 2015 to calculate period life expectancies at 40 years of age. We present the results by sex and educational attainment, the latter categorised as doctorate or licentiate degrees, or other tertiary. We also present an age and cause of death decomposition to assess the contribution of deaths related to smoking and alcohol. Results: In Finland, deaths related to smoking and alcohol constituted 48.6% of the 2.1-year difference in life expectancy between men with doctorate degrees and the other tertiary-educated men, and 22.9% of the 2.1-year difference between women, respectively. In Sweden, these causes account for 22.2% of the 1.9-year difference among men, and 55.7% of the 1.6-year difference among women, which in the latter case is mainly due to smoking. Conclusions: Individuals with doctorates tend to live longer than other tertiary-educated individuals. This difference can be partly attributed to alcohol consumption and smoking.
  • Hemminki, Kari; Sundquist, Kristina; Sundquist, Jan; Foersti, Asta; Liska, Vaclav; Hemminki, Akseli; Li, Xinjun (2022)
    Simple Summary Familial risk of cancer implies that two or more family members are diagnosed with the same cancer. This may be due to the genes or environmental factors that family members share. Familial risk for liver and gallbladder cancer is about 2.7 which means that when one family member is diagnosed with these cancers other family members have 2.7 times higher risk of being diagnosed with the same cancers compared to families were no member is yet diagnosed with these cancers. Risk between spouses is entirely due to shared environmental factors and for liver cancer there is a small risk. The most important way to prevent these cancers is to avoid their risk factors, alcohol, smoking and overweight, and to seek medical care for diabetes and liver infections. We used the Swedish Cancer Registry data to address familial risks for concordant (same) and discordant (different) hepatobiliary cancers, including their associations with any other cancers and with known risk factors. Risks were also assessed between spouses. The analysis covered Swedish families and their cancers between years 1958 and 2018. Adjusted familial risks were expressed as standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). Familial SIRs for concordant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were 2.60, and for gallbladder cancer they were at the same level (2.76). Familial risk was also found for intrahepatic bile duct cancer and for female extrahepatic bile duct cancer. HCC was associated with lung and cervical cancers; extrahepatic bile duct and ampullary cancers were associated with colon and pancreatic cancers, suggesting Lynch syndrome. Among spouses, hepatobiliary cancer was associated with HCC, stomach, pancreatic, cervical and upper aerodigestive tract cancers. Among risk factors, family members diagnosed with alcohol-related disease showed association with HCC. The observed familial risks for hepatobiliary cancers were relatively high, and considering the poor prognosis of these cancers, prevention is of the utmost importance and should focus on moderation of alcohol consumption, vaccination/treatment of hepatitis viral infections and avoidance of overweight and other risk factors of type 2 diabetes.
  • Hellman, Carin Matilda Emelie; Katainen, Anu Hannele; Seppänen, Janne (2018)
    This study examines gender constructs in advertising in European beer commercials (N = 59). It employs a lens of “citizenship” for discerning techniques by which male and female realms are portrayed as nonrelated, competing, and of unequal worth. This lens provides an explanation for why the connotations are problematic from a public health perspective. The citizenship-related tensions that the commercials entailed concerned taking the lead versus being governed, being free versus being controlled, being seen as a threat versus being welcomed as a friend, and being worthy of solidarity versus being excluded from group bonding. The article argues that these tensions not only involve the ethical issue of encouraging the consumption of potentially harmful substances (alcohol) and reproducing repellent gender stereotypes. The controlling, moralizing, and dull female characters are construed as infringing on the knowledgeable, skillful, and free alcohol-consuming male citizens. Gender thus unfolds as a crucial dimension in the mediation of commercial views on the relationship between the consumer and the state in alcohol policy.
  • Nieminen, Mikko T.; Salaspuro, Mikko (2018)
    The resident microbiome plays a key role in exposure of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract mucosa to acetaldehyde (ACH), a carcinogenic metabolite of ethanol. Poor oral health is a significant risk factor for oral and esophageal carcinogenesis and is characterized by a dysbiotic microbiome. Dysbiosis leads to increased growth of opportunistic pathogens (such as Candida yeasts) and may cause an up to 100% increase in the local ACH production, which is further modified by organ-specific expression and gene polymorphisms of ethanol-metabolizing and ACH-metabolizing enzymes. A point mutation in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene has randomized millions of alcohol consumers to markedly increased local ACH exposure via saliva and gastric juice, which is associated with a manifold risk for upper GI tract cancers. This human cancer model proves conclusively the causal relationship between ACH and upper GI tract carcinogenesis and provides novel possibilities for the quantitative assessment of ACH carcinogenicity in the human oropharynx. ACH formed from ethanol present in “non-alcoholic” beverages, fermented food, or added during food preparation forms a significant epidemiologic bias in cancer epidemiology. The same also concerns “free” ACH present in mutagenic concentrations in multiple beverages and foodstuffs. Local exposure to ACH is cumulative and can be reduced markedly both at the population and individual level. At best, a person would never consume tobacco, alcohol, or both. However, even smoking cessation and moderation of alcohol consumption are associated with a marked decrease in local ACH exposure and cancer risk, especially among established risk groups.
  • Hemminki, Kari; Tichanek, Filip; Försti, Asta; Hemminki, Otto; Liska, Vaclav; Hemminki, Akseli (2022)
    We analyzed long-term incidence trends in liver cancer (including hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma) with an aim to interpret the changes in terms of known risk factors and hypothesize that historical exposure to Thorotrast, a radiographic contrast medium emitting alpha particles, has changed population rates. The NORDCAN database was used to collect cancer registry data from Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE), which we used from 1953 (DK, FI and NO) and 1960 (SE) through 2019. Thorotrast, which caused a 100-fold risk of liver cancer was used in DK and SE, and probably also in FI between 1930 and 1950, but not in NO. The incidence trend for liver cancer showed a broad maximum at around 1980, most prominent and statistically significant in SE and DK men and women, and in all countries, a steadily increasing trend towards the end of follow-up. Incidence for NO was lower than for the other countries and the rates showed no peaking at around 1980. Birth cohort analysis identified a transient risk which could be dated to a period between 1930 and 1950 in countries other than NO. Considering a lag time between Thorotrast use and liver cancer appearance, the large incidence peak around 1980 in DK and DE was probably contributed by Thorotrast but considering the ecological nature of the findings, the association should be considered cautiously as hypothesis generating. The late increase in liver cancer risk is most likely lifestyle related and largely preventable.
  • Figueiredo, Rejane Augusta De Oliveira; Roos, Eva; Eriksson, Johan G.; Simola-Strom, Sabina; Weiderpass, Elisabete (2017)
    Aims: Little is known about impact of maternal alcohol and tobacco consumption on adolescents' body size. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether maternal alcohol or tobacco consumption is associated with their children's body size in adolescence, assessed by Body Mass Index (BMI). Methods: This study was conduct in subjects recruited into the Finnish Health in Teens cohort (Fin-HIT) between 2011 and 2014. A total of 4525 subjects aged between 9 and 14 years and their mothers or female adults responsible for the children were analysed. Relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Multinomial Logistic Regression. Results: Most children were normal weight (74.5%), 10.6% were underweight and 14.9% were overweight or obese. Among mothers, 50.6% were never smokers, 35.7% were former smokers, and 13.7% were current smokers. Alcohol consumption was classified by Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), 12.7% were abstainers (score=0), 65.0% were low-moderate drinkers (scores 1-4) and 22.3% were harmful drinkers (scores. 5). There were statistically significant associations between currently smoking mothers and children's overweight (RR=1.36; 95% CI: 1.05-1.76). There was an inverse association between maternal former smoking and children's underweight (RR=0.70; CI: 0.56-0.87) compared with never smoker mothers. Among children in puberty, abstainer mothers were more likely to have underweight children compared with low-moderate mothers (RR=1.57; 95% CI: 1.03-2.41). Conclusions: Current smoker mothers were associated with children's overweight and former-smoker mothers were inversely associated with the children's underweight. Being an abstainer mother was associated with the children's underweight in puberty stage. If other studies confirm these results, public health interventions aiming at healthy weight of adolescents should target the whole family, not only the adolescents themselves.
  • Katainen, Anu; Härkönen, Janne; Mäkelä, Pia (2022)
    Background People should be able to quit or moderate their drinking without negative social consequences, but studies have shown how nondrinkers often face pressure and negative reactions. As previous research has mostly focused on youth, we conducted a population-level study of the ways adult nondrinkers encounter their drinking companions on drinking occasions and what kinds of reactions they perceive from their social environments. Method The data were based on the Finnish Drinking Habits Survey (FDHS), a general population survey of Finns aged 15-79 collected in 2016 (N = 2,285; 330 nondrinkers; response rate 60%). Characteristics of drinking occasions where nondrinkers participate ("non-drinking occasions") were measured through self-reports of frequency, time, purpose, and social companion on those occasions. Nondrinkers' experiences of non-drinking occasions and reactions from the social environment were measured by question batteries on social consequences. Results Compared with drinking occasions, non-drinking occasions occurred more often at family events at home than on late-night drinking occasions. Accordingly, nondrinkers reported relatively low levels of negative consequences, and the reported consequences were least frequent in the oldest age group. Nondrinkers reported mostly positive feedback from people around them, more often from family members than from peers. However, negative consequences were reported in all studied groups, most commonly among youth and former drinkers. Conclusions The study indicates that nondrinkers' social environments may be more supportive than what has been suggested previously, yet coping mechanisms are required especially from youth and former drinkers. The positive social experiences of being a nondrinker should guide the promotion of moderate and non-drinking.